Google Releases a Hot Fix To Address Issues With Google Home and Chromecast Devices

Google Home Mini

Over the course of yesterday, many Google Home and Chromecast users reported issues with the devices.  In the case of Home, commands were not being accepted while with Chromecast devices, casting would not work.  The issue was reasonably widespread.

Late yesterday, Google’s Made By Google Twitter account posted that a fix would be rolling out over the follow six hour (i.e. overnight) to fix the issue.

At this point, this fix should have rolled out to everyone.

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Red Bull TV Joins Google Home as a Casting Option in The US

Red Bull TV Logo

Red Bull TV has joined the ranks of HBO Now Netflix and CBC All Access as being casted to your Chromecast enabled TV from Google Home.  Now using Google Assistant, you can ask for content from the service without having to manually do so from your phone or tablet.  Even better, no account linking is required.

To try it out, just say, “Hey Google, play How to MTB on my TV” and the show How to MTB from Red Bull TV will be casted to your television.  If you aren’t familiar with RBTV, you can check out all their shows here.

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Google Assistant Can Now Show You The Weather Forecast on Your Chromecast

Google Assistant Visual Weather on Chromecast

Google has begun rolling out a feature Google Home visualization feature today, allowing you to ask Google Assistant to display the weather forecast on your Chromecast enabled device.  The new feature is a cloud-side change so there is nothing for you to do.  You will know when you have the feature on your account when you ask Assistant on your Google Home, “Hey Google, show me the weather on my Chromecast”.

Visualizations with Assistant and Home were shows last year at Google I/O as a way to improve getting personalized content.  In the case of the weather, you can visually see the weather forecast instead of having to listen to Assistant read it back to you on your device or Google Home.

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Watch The State of The Union Address on YouTube

YouTube for Android

[Editors Note:  Due to the political nature of this post, comments have been disabled]

President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address will be streamed live on YouTube this week.  The address to both houses of Congress will happen on January 30th at 5:00 PM Eastern.  Google’s streaming service will be broadcasting the live stream from CBS News and will also be streaming the Democrat response to the address shortly after the President concludes his address.

The State of the Union Address is a Constitutionally mandated address Article II, Section 3, Clause 1.  That clause reads in part:  shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

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How to Create a Google Home Audio Group

My Google Home Group in the Home App

One of the best features of Google Home when it comes to audio is one that I suspect many have not heard of or used.  It is called Home Grouping and it allows you to put your Home and Chromecast audio devices into a logical group inside the Home app.  Once done, you can give the command to play music on that group and it will play across all of your Home devices.  It is a great feature and is easy to setup.

First, make sure you have the latest Google Home app on your phone.  Next, make sure that your phone and the Home, and the Chromecast devices you want to add to your group are all on the same network.  In other words, you can’t do this while you are on a business trip or on holiday.  You have to be home to do it.  Finally, make sure all of your Home device and Chromecast devices are turned on so they can be found.  With that, let’s get to the How To.

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Logitech Circle Cameras now Supports Google Assistant

Logitech Circle 2 Camera with Google Assistant

Following in the footsteps of Google’s own Nest, Logitech has announced that the Logitech Circle  home security cameras now integrates with Google Assistant.

Today, Logitech announced Circle 2 home security cameras now work with the Google Assistant on smart speakers like Google Home, eligible Android phones and iPhones, so you can easily ask to watch live video of what’s happening in and around your home. Start by saying, “Ok Google, show me the backyard camera,” to show a live view of your backyard on your TV using the Google Assistant and Chromecast, or a TV with Chromecast built in.

The news is great for consumers as it now provides a choice of home security cameras that can leverage Google Assistant for real time monitoring of your home or apartment.

The integration works with both the original Circle cameras as well as the recently updated Circle 2 models and works on both wired & wireless integration into your home network.  Functionally, it works the same as the Nest cameras do with Google Assistant.  If you have a “front door” camera, you can say, “Hey Google, show me the front door” and it will stream the video feed from that camera to your Chromecast.  Additional cameras are support for other doors or areas in your home or apartment.

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Google Assistant Now Supports HBO NOW Account Linking

HBO Now Support in Google Assistant

Google has quietly made a background update to Google Assistant that allows you to link your HBO NOW account to it.  That means that you can stream content from the service to your Chromecast devices simply by asking Assistant to do so via your phone or Google Home.

HBO NOW is the stand alone streaming service from the premium movie service.  It is $14.99 per month and is for cable cutters who do not have a cable or satellite subscription.  For those that do have HBO as part of their cable package, the app to stream content on your Android device is HBO GO but that cannot be connected to Google Assistant.

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What is Expected at The Google Event on October 4th

When the announcement came out a few weeks ago that Google would be holding an event on October 4th, it seems pretty straight forward.  This Google event, it seemed, would bring us a couple of new phones and that would be about it.  However, the much anticipated Pixel and Pixel XL are likely to only be the tip of the iceberg.  The event is shaping up to be huge with announcements across a wide swath of the Google landscape.

While everything to this point is purely rumor, there are strong indicators of what we will see or won’t see.  I’ve put together a list of things we are likely to see in the October 4th event and it is expansive.  Get ready for a really exciting day!

Google Pixel / Google Pixel XL – Probability:  100%

Fundamentally, this event started as a launch event for Google’s new phones, the 5.2″ Pixel and 5.5″ Pixel XL.  Both devices are expected to be launched with the new Pixel Launcher and with

Google Pixel
Google Pixel

Android Nougat 7.1, the first maintenance release for the latest version of Android.  As for the details, both devices are expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and both will have 4GB of RAM.  Both are expected to have a 12MP main camera, fingerprint scanner and sticking with Nexus tradition, will not have a MicroSD card for storage expansion.  They will however come with 32, 64 or 128GB of Storage.

The devices have been heavily influenced by Google and are built by HTC.  It is also expect that for the first time, Google will have their phones in carrier and retailers.  Pricing is still a bit of a mystery but something around the $450 mark for the Pixel and $650 for the XL (starting price) is likely.

Finally, don’t expect these phones to be available on the 4th.  It will likely be the end of the month before we see them ship if history holds true.  You will however likely be able to pre-order them on or around the 4th.

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